Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe will officially open Tsholotsho Stadium upon its completion in July this year, a senior official said on Friday.
Speaking during a tour of the stadium site in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North provincial affairs Minister Cain Mathema said inviting President Mugabe to open the stadium would further confirm the growing status of Tsholotsho as a district and emerging football powerhouse.
Mathema was speaking soon after calling for a temporary stop to construction work being carried out following the appointment of a stadium construction steering committee led by Sicelo Dube.
He said there was a need to come up with a finished product that would be the pride of not only the people of Tsholotsho or Matabeleland North but the nation and region at large hence the need to have President Mugabe officially handing over the stadium.
“We want a product that will make us proud, let’s do a proper thing which upon completion will be an attraction and to cap it all, we will then invite umdala (President Mugabe) to come down here and officially open the stadium,” said Mathema to an immediate consent from the touring delegation that also included the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Jonathan Moyo, Tsholotsho rural district councillors, its chief executive officer, Themba Moyo, Chief Magama and Chief Gampu.
Government on Friday took over construction of the Stadium with Prof Moyo saying the project met the national policy planning objective and as such qualifies as a national project.
Prof Moyo is largely credited with bringing tangible development to the district that started with a wide tarred road stretching from Tsholotsho right up to the Gwayi area.
He also oversaw installation of tower lights at the business centre while a leading commercial bank opened a branch.
Before a tour of the stadium site, Prof Moyo and his entourage were introduced to the Tsholotsho Football Club players as well as its technical bench led by Lizwe Sweswe.
Prof Moyo seemed overjoyed when he was told that former Mighty Warriors midfielder Sithethelewe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda was one of the assistant coaches to Sweswe.
“Behind every successful team there is a woman,” Prof Moyo quipped.
Meawhile, the Tsholotsho steering committee has embarked on a fundraising drive meant to raise funds that will complement what club president and owner Mandla Gumbo will be channelling to the club.
A raffle draw will be held in April with three lucky winners getting away with a brand new tractor, full borehole drilling equipment as well as a smart phone.
Club regalia is also being sold and on Friday, Prof Moyo bought 20 t-shirts and caps which he gave to his travelling party.
Tsholotsho FC will use White City Stadium during the first half of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season and then revert back to their home ground in the second half.